Daycare centres welcome Phase 2 of de-escalation plan

Wani Roslan

Daycare centres in the country rejoiced at the news that their industry has now advanced to Phase 2 of the de-escalation plan.

Following the announcement on July 6, the capacity has now been increased from 30 per cent to 60 per cent.

Nur Maisarah binti Abdul Aziz, a daycare centre founder, expressed her delight at the recent announcement.

“Our centre had been receiving calls from parents and guardians since the re-opening of schools,” she said. “But with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) and the Ministry of Health (MoH), we could only accept five children.”

She added that the increase in capacity means that the centre can now accommodate 10 children which brought relief to her as “the children are back; it breaks the silence at the centre”.

Children observing the social distancing rule at a daycare centre. PHOTO: WANI ROSLAN

“While we were used to taking care of 30 children at a time,” she said. “we now have to follow the guidelines given to us, even if parents complain about the restrictions. We don’t have a choice.”

Regarding the SOPs, the centre has set up a temperature check for all children, hand sanitisers at key locations and the prohibition of parents from entering the premises.

“For our centre,” she said, “we have three napping rooms: boys’, girls’ and children who are unwell. We have also marked the floor with tapes to remind the children to practise social distancing at all times.”

Meanwhile, parent Siti Aisyah HM said the increase in capacity is good news to working parents who need extra help.

“I’m sure a lot of parents are so relieved as I am about the change,” she said. “I hope these centres can operate at 100 per cent capacity soon as I know of parents who are still struggling to find a daycare centre that hasn’t reached 60 per cent capacity yet.”